“This is not your grandmother’s hunger,” says Janet Poppendieck, a sociologist at the City University of New York. “Today more working people and their families are hungry because wages have declined.”
The last decade has seen an explosion of interest in farmer's markets, healthful cooking, and dismantling the industrial food system, spurred in large part by Michael Pollan's 2006 book The Omnivore's Dilemma. But the "food movement" of today tends to be dominated by affluent urbanites, and messages from Brooklyn and San Francisco often don't reach--or resonate with--the majority of places in between.
contributor Meara Sharma interviews food journalists Jane Black
and Brent Cunningham about the juxtaposition of American working-class culture, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
, and the idealized pastoral leanings of the modern-day food movement: Servings of Small Change
. [more inside]
It's not all bad news.
People are living longer, we're winning the fight against malaria, worldwide poverty is down, and eight more reasons for hope in the coming year.
A 5-year-old girl saw the dust trail of the bus and pedaled toward it on a red tricycle. Three teenage boys came barefoot in swimsuits. A young mother walked over from her trailer with an infant daughter in one arm and a lit cigarette in the other. “Any chance there will be leftover food for adults?” she asked. It was almost 1 p.m. For some, this would be the first meal of the day. For others, the last.
In rural Tennessee, a new way to help hungry children: A bus turned bread truck
Don't look at the comments. Do look at the photos.
"The story of American families facing food insecurity is as frustrating as it is heartbreaking, because the truth is as avoidable as it is tragic. Here in the richest country on earth, 50 million of us — one in six Americans — go hungry. More than a third of them are children. And yet Congress can’t pass a Farm Bill because our representatives continue to fight over how many billions to slash from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The debate is filled with tired clichés about freeloaders undeserving of government help, living large at the expense of honest, hardworking taxpayers." Bill Moyers spends an hour
with two of the creators of the documentary "A Place at the Table
." [more inside]
With an incredible protein-to-weight ration, insects have often been promoted as a superfood that could cure world hunger
. (Although eating live
insects may not be advisable
.) However, the "grossness" factor often stops people from trying this comestible. Enter the 3-D printer to change all this
A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait
, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing
has done elsewhere in the world.
Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.''
It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring. [more inside]
A revolutionary new food supply
, announced by author Mykle Hansen. [more inside]
The World Development Movement (WDM)
published a report six months ago on How Banking Speculation Causes Food Crises
. It describes why the deregulation of commodity derivatives, specifically food commodity derivatives, has led to a state of global instability in the price of food
. Political instability in the Middle East is not helping
either. The European Commission is considering methods to introduce regulation
in commodity derivative markets [Strategy Outline PDF]
. In the meantime, speculators gonna speculate
. [more inside]
A Portrait of Hunger.
A look at poverty and hunger in Philadelphia.
On Saturday, Cuba issued an unprecedented public report on the status of an imprisoned dissident. Guillermo Fariñas Hernández
began his hunger strike in February, the day after the first Cuban hunger striker death in almost forty years. He is now near death
. [more inside]
How Goldman Sachs gambled on starving the world's poor - and won
This was hinted at
last August and in 2008
Merrill Lynch's spokesman said: "Huh. I didn't know about that." He later emailed to say: "I am going to decline comment." Deutsche Bank also refused to comment. Goldman Sachs were a little more detailed in their response: they said "serious analyses... have concluded index funds did not cause a bubble in commodity futures prices", offering as evidence a single statement by the OECD. World Hunger Facts 2010
While folks ponder the nutritional value
of the new KFC "double down" sandwich, around the world 1 billion people go to bed each day hungry
, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.)
(BTW, If you define hunger or malnourishment in a different way, 1 billion could be
just the tip of the iceberg.)
Today the F.A.O. asked those who find the world hunger situation to be outrageous to join with them
and "blow the whistle" on this silent crisis.
MIT's media lab helped them set up an online networking tool
to track the global spread of this movement.
Jeremy Irons is on on board... and mad as hell
Bono and Bob Geldof worked in The Globe and Mail newsroom
on Saturday to guest-edit a special edition of the paper on the future of Africa
for today... Monday, May 10, in advance of the G8/G20 summit in Huntsville, Ontario, from June 25-27, 2010.
What drives somebody to hunger strike?
The hunger strike
as a method of protest has been employed for a very long time indeed. The first thing I think of when the words "hunger strike" are mentioned is the story of Bobby Sands
, despite the fact I was too young to know what was going on at the time.
Is it fitting that the bizarre actions
of a huge food company
has inspired another hunger strike
? [more inside]
Almost 15 percent of US households are "food insecure".
Last year, nearly 17 million children, or 22.5 per cent, lived in households in which food at times was scarce - 4 million children more than the year before. And the number of youngsters who sometimes went hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million. [more inside]
Nearly 2.4 million displaced;
mostly in refugee camps where it's about 45 degrees Celsius
with no wind. Their economy is devastated
."The numbers of people who have moved in that last three and half weeks is the highest rate of movement we have seen for more than 20 years anywhere in the world
Your tax dollars at work?
is a design/build competition currently held in cities throughout North America. Teams of architects, engineers, and students compete to design and build giant structures
made entirely from full cans of food. [more inside]
of The Great Depression
of the 1930's to 1940's (previously)
, and an interview with a survivor
growing up during those hard times... posted before on Mefi, here
When welfare benefits the rich, and starves the poor:
Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year
, and nationally the number of people receiving cash assistance remained at or near the lowest in more than 40 years
. [more inside]
Many poor Haitians, driven over the edge by world rising food prices, are now eating cakes of mud, salt and shortening
in order to survive. This article
in the September issue of National Geographic describes how, thanks to history and other factors such as hurricanes, Haiti has lost its ability to feed itself; more than 90% of the country is deforested. The picture caption in the print version, not seen online, uses the word "clay" instead of "dirt". Bill Quigley wrote about the U.S. role in Haiti's food riots
, which claimed six lives last spring.
In 1943, while the Allies were busy battling the Axis Powers and the Nazi Regime, there was another
kind of war that was being waged against a helpless populace (living on the Indian Sub-continent). A war
that has been largely ignored by the mass media and the history books of our time. It is known as the Great Bengal Famine
, and ended up causing the death
of an estimated 1.5 million to 4 million
Worried about food prices? Don't be, if you've got capital! You can lease land from starving countries
to ease your own food problems. This ain't Food Force
), but the gamesmanship
) is underway
(pdf). On the bright side, let them
The new face of hunger
-- “World agriculture has entered a new, unsustainable and politically risky period” says the International Food Policy Research Institute. Food riots have erupted in countries all along the equator because of soaring food commodity prices. So, where does the world get more food? If the extra supplies are to come mainly from large farmers in America and Europe, then they may be trapped in a farm subsidy Catch-22
. Increase production per acre? We just learned about the myth of GM crops (previously of MeFi
). All of this is why some are just sitting out Earth Day
Some of the world's biggest grain exporters barred their farmers from selling in global markets yesterday
, exacerbating the food price crisis for poorer nations that import their food and highlighting the failure of governments to nurture stronger rules for agricultural trade. Google news on restrictions on grain exports...
Previously on MetaFilter. [more inside]
Land turned to biofuels in the US alone in the last two years would have fed nearly 250 million people with average grain needs.
Prices of all staple food has risen 80% in three years. 33 countries face unrest because of these price rises.
Subsidiziation of Biofuel is driving the poor to starvation.
In Bangladesh Biofuel production hits food security
Half of Pakistan population at the risk of food insecurity
, warns WFP.
Cost of food increases hunger
in Nepal. wiki
What Am I Craving? That's the question we always ask ourselves when thinking about what to eat. So we got to thinking: wouldn't it be cool to have a tool that could listen to what we were craving and then suggest something good to cook?
is an organization which helps feed the hungry and homeless in cities around the world. The organization encourages people "to get together with friends and build burritos to take to the streets". Anyone can start a Burrito Project and the organization encourages everyone to help feed the hungry
in their local communities. Haven't heard of the Burrito Project
? There's probably a good, albeit very strange, reason why. [via]
The looming food crisis
is already upon us. The Institute for Food and Development - Food First - whose Policy is to eliminate the injustices that cause hunger
is joined by Green Horizon talking about a global food crisis emerging
. By promoting biodiesel as a substitute, we have missed the fact that it is worse than the fossil-fuel burning it replaces
. As a result the line between the food economy and energy economy has become blurred
. In the United States and Canada, governments are manipulating the market
in the biofuels industry.
Tonight, G.W. Bush is expected to announce a major energy proposal, including cutbacks in gas consumption
and development of alternative fuels. High on the list is the development and subsidisation of ethanol
, primarily as derived from corn. The utility of corn-based ethanol in meeting energy needs is debatable: its probably weakly energy positive
, but not very good in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. More immediately, the US drive towards corn based ethanol has had major effects on the price of corn, and has caused the otherwise free market leaning Mexican President Felipe Calderon to introduce price controls on tortillas
. Earth Policy Institute's Lester Brown
: "The competition for grain between the world’s 800 million motorists who want to maintain their mobility and its 2 billion poorest people who are simply trying to survive is emerging as an epic issue.
". (This post based on a column by Barrie McKenna
, unfortunately subscriber only.)
John Murtari hunger strike protest.
John Murtari has been on a hunger strike after being jailed without a jury trail. A PHD in aeronautics, Murtari lost his job and took a lower paying job at an ISP. Unable to pay the extremely high child support payment, he asked the courts to re-adjust his payment. The court denied him. The judge offered him probation or 6 months jail time. Murtari chose jail time with protest. Murtari stated Even Terrorists get a trail by jury.
He is finally on a feeding tube, forced down his nose, after loosing 28 lbs. Update
with protest photos and his comments on the protest.
UN reports "vast" levels of hunger for Iraq's children.
The World Food Programme is reporting that a "dismal shortage of cash"
is jeopardizing the health of over 3 million Iraqis, over half of them children. The organization cites "a growing negative impact on the most vulnerable". Last year, a survey indicated that over 27 percent of all Iraqi children under the age of five were chronically malnourished. This was before reports came out, indicating that food rations have been cut off
, and reports of food prices escalating sharply. Some Iraqis have resorted to selling their blood for money
to make ends meet.
Approximately 400,000 Iraqi children now suffer from "wasting,
" a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein. Iraq now has the third highest infant mortality rate
in the world, just ahead of Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Malawi Withers
After a poor harvest that brought in 1.3 million tons
(well short of the 2.1 million tons needed) the United Nation made an $88m (66 million pounds) food appeal for Malawi
ten days ago but has not received a single penny or pledge of aid from any nation so far.
Woops, check that, Ireland's just pledged a million euros
. Only 65 million to go.
Are you HUNGRY or do you just crave the flavor
(my favorite is that Mustard is under the heading Exotic.)
Hope for hungry children, arriving in a foil packet
[NYT article], interesting article about a seemingly simple (if partial) solution to malnutrition in Niger: a peanut-butter-like mixture
that avoids the problems associated with traditional treatment methods
. What truly interests-and bothers me-about this article is that a French company came up with this. Is there an American company that makes products simply to alleviate world hunger?
Walk A Mile
project brings policymakers and people on assistance together. One of their programs is Living on Food Stamps,
where policymakers try to eat for a month on the same amount of food stamps regular people receive.
Here's how it went in Oregon,
and some lessons learned
Extending your life, how to age well.
The Seattle Times
is running a week long series of articles on how to extend your life. One of the most interesting ideas is calorie restrictive diets
. The basic idea is that you consume approximately 30% less calories than you need, and you will live a 30% longer lifespan. The Calorie Restriction Society
website can answer any questions you have. Of course any plan that has problems like "Getting used to looking gaunt"
and "How do I stop waking up from hunger"
seems a little iffy to me.
What did Pavlov’s dog think about Pavlov?
"Look at the poor man, every time I am hungry, instead of bringing me food, he rings the bell!"
Some people just figure it out
, but here on MeFi we already knew it
"Clinton was a good guy, but he did fuck all"
or so says Bob Geldof when it comes to Clinton getting aid to Africa. And he's just as critical about the EU as well ("The EU have been pathetic and appalling, and I thought we had dealt with that 20 years ago when the electorate of our countries said never again..."
) pointing out their tiny contribution to the recent aid shipments to Ethiopia. But what about the Bush government you ask? "You'll think I'm off my trolley when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical -- in a positive sense -- in its approach to Africa since Kennedy."
Fast for George W. Bush.
"If you are willing to fast at least one day a month primarily for George W. Bush's holiness (and other areas, such as bipartisan work among the Democrats and Republicans, Wisdom in his work, wisdom for his cabinet, healing for our nation, etc. ... but primarily holiness) then we encourage you to sign up and join us [...] Our goal is to have 1,000 people fasting for the President each day. That will greatly encourage him and keep him accountable when the Evil One seeks to sidetrack him from his commitment to the Lord. "
Hunger rates highest in rural West.
"Unemployment and prevalence of seasonal labor go hand-in-hand with hunger, experts say. Oregon
rank high in both jobless and hunger rates. Across the West, the agriculture industry relies on seasonal labor to harvest everything from mushrooms to apples. Families that work in the summer often can't make ends meet in the winter."
Pavarotti: not enough food in world!
Luciano "If it weren't for singing I'd never stop eating"
Pavarotti (who was once a UN 'messenger of peace'
) is now an official spokesman for the UN FAO
's Anti-Hunger campaign. Yeah... Pavarotti => food => war on hunger???
Isn't that sorta like making Gene Simmons official spokesman for the 'War on De-Flowered Virgins'? [FYI: tomorrow is World Food Day